Thứ Ba, 12 tháng 7, 2011

Pokemon Black and White

Until this point in Pokemon I’ve struggled to understand what they mean by a new Generation. Sure adding new Pokemon, Moves some new gameplay elements and new areas are surely a change, but it’s not exactly revolutionary. They’re not shameless sequels, but rather additions which don’t stand out too well from previous ones, a new version if you will. But could Black and White finally break that mold?

The story of Black and White is a standard Pokemon story, you’re a trainer who receives a Pokemon along with a rival (in fact 2 rivals this time) and together you defeat the Gym Leaders around the new area of Unova and defeat the Elite Four and become Champion. Like always there is an evil syndicate in your way. This time it’s a team of Pokemon liberators, Team Plasma, lead by the mysterious N. Overall the way the story is told is really good. The rivals mature as they go along the journey and most of the characters develop nicely, the Goals of becoming Champion and defeating Team Plasma weave really well into one really good climax.
But that’s just the way the story is told, the story itself however is horrible, stupid and extremely nonsensical. Team Plasma are quite possibly the biggest hypocrites in existence. They say they want to free all the Pokemon, so people can stop harming them. But then you see them physically beating Pokemon and capturing them against their will. Here’s one of the plans that they do, they beat up a Munna so they can obtain “dream dust” so they can invade people’s dreams and convince them hurting Pokemon is wrong. How the hell does that make sense? A lot of people have told me that Team Plasma are supposed to make you feel like the bad guy, I honestly felt like an audience member of a failing comedy act. They try so hard to act cool, but they just make giant fools of themselves. I would of liked the idea of them liberating Pokemon if they weren’t just such big hypocrites. The worse thing about the story is they actually went with it, someone thought this up, and everyone thought it was a good idea. The idiot who wrote the story should be incinerated.

What I like about Black and White is how they try to be something new. There’s no Pokemon from previous Generations until you beat the final boss. So you have to stick with the new ones. Before the game was released on the forum I have been extremely harsh against the designs of the new Pokemon, calling them “over the top” and “a bunch of Neopets rejections”. Well as over the top they are, they have a lot of charm to them. Most of the roster you’ll love straight away or at least grow to love and some you’ll be turned off from immediately. To this day I’m still trying to figure out what the hell Sigilyph is.
Of course with the new generation comes 3 new starters, this time it’s Snivy (Grass), Tepig (Fire) and Oshawott (Water). I at first chose Oshawott because it has quite possibly one of the best final evolutions in Pokemon so far, plus Oshawott doesn’t disappoint you trying to get through the game. It’s fast, powerful and learns a lot of good moves. Snivy and it’s evolutions do look good as well, unlike Oshawott you can see a more natural evolution pattern. Tepig on the other hand, looks awful. It’s evolutions are extremely lackluster and definitely some of the ugliest Pokemon so far. And honestly, did we really need another Fire/Fighting type starter? It’s been 3 generations in a row now Game Freak, you can do better then that.

When you pit A fiery Monkey against an Ice Cream it's obvious who's going to win, but surely Licking it would be more deadly?

The gameplay in Black and White has updated a lot of things about the older series. Now the battles are fully animated, making the Pokemon seem a tad lifelike. The visual effects of attack moves do look nice to look at. But really, it’s just a visual update. But then, Pokemon battles really can’t get any better then what they are in Black and White. It’s a system which has been perfected and now polished so hard you can see you face into it, or maybe that‘s the reflection on my DS screen, I‘m not sure. It’s going to be hard for what Game Freak will try and do next time, if it’s even necessary.

The visuals for this game are a mixed bag. As I said before, the visuals of attack moves look good and definitely make the battles seem more epic to play in. The visuals for the overworld however, I can not stand at all. Don’t get me wrong, I do think the 3D visuals of the scenery and the structures of Unova look very good. It’s just the characters are all still in sprite form. And it makes the 3D visuals look sloppy and out of place. And at some stages of the game you appear in areas which zoom out and make your character look like you’ve shrunken him/her in MS Paint. It doesn’t look good, it didn’t work well in Diamond and Pearl and it looks ever worse here.

See what I mean?

The soundtrack is truly something which is revolutionary in Pokemon, it’s mostly good for once. Not like previous generations where you might find a good piece of OST but then be disappointed at almost everything else you hear in the game (this is the handhelds I talking about, I would never disrespect any Home Console Pokemon games soundtrack). There’s the one off OST I do despise, but that’s only because it’s addicting like the Frosties Kid adverts. My favourite OST would definitely have to do something with N. His normal battle, final battle and his Castle theme are all wonderful tracks which really do deserve a listen.

Ok, I’ll admit it. Despite everything I just said, the horrible plot, some awful Pokemon designs, the terrible overworld visuals. I still had one of the best experiences with Pokemon with this game. I haven’t had this much fun in a Pokemon game since Pokemon Colosseum and that was near perfect. But unlike Colosseum, Black and White flaws are very noticeable and may spoil your experience.

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